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Penalties for being caught working without a permit in Phuket

Have you ever wondered just what the penalties for being caught working in Phuket without a work permit, or where you could find a copy of the law in English so you can make sure to comply with it? Read on for answers to these questions...

immigration, crime, economics,

Sunday 31 July 2016, 02:00PM

Pitool Dumsakorn, Chief of the Phuket Employment Office, holds a Thai work permit.  His advice: 'Don't get caught working without one'. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot
Pitool Dumsakorn, Chief of the Phuket Employment Office, holds a Thai work permit. His advice: 'Don't get caught working without one'. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot


Since coming to Phuket I have seen many stories about foreigners being arrested for working illegally, and many for working without a work permit. Sometimes the foreigner caught is charged, found guilty and deported very quickly, other times there is no mention of deportation or even a fine.

What exactly is the penalty for working in Thailand without a work permit?

Also, where can I find a recognised official translation of the “Alien Labour Act”, which seems to also be called the “Working of Alien Act”, in English?

I have been told that English is an officially recognised “second” language in Thailand, but every copy of the Alien Labour Act I have seen on the Internet, including on the Ministry of Labour website (, specifically says it is an “unofficial translation”.

Where can I find an official copy in English?

– Anna, Chalong.

The NAKA Island



The penalty for foreigners caught working without a work permit as stipulated in Section 51 of the “Working of Alien Act BE 2551 (2008)” is five years in jail or a fine of B2,000 to B100,000, or both.

Then we have to deport them.

For an official translation of the act in English, you can come and collect one at the Phuket Employment Office. We have the whole act available in Thai and English, and it is free.

Our office is located on Rattanakosin 200 Pi Rd, Phuket Town, near the Phuket Red Cross. (See map below.)

– Pitool Dumsakorn, Chief of the Phuket Employment Office.



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kataglenn | 31 July 2016 - 20:51:35

And the penalty for wrong address on work permit ??? LOSS of Passport to Police would like a answer to that one 

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